I have felt totally exhausted and under the weather this week....... I have no idea why, but I suspect it may be a hint of hay fever which has hit with the warmer Spring weather and the vast fields of yellow rape seed which are in full flower all over the place right now. It gets me every year!
Consequently, I have been neglecting all things 'blog' and have been crashing into bed by 9 in the evening in order to get enough energy to be awake for work the next day. I've finally succumbed to a pack of anti-histamine tablets in the hope that it may help to sort out my fuzzy, tired head.
When you feel that whammed, a good breakfast becomes even more important to help survive the hours ahead. A few weeks back, I posted my Instant Fruit & Nut Porridge Pots which are great to take into work for a filling, energy-full, sustaining breakfast. But with the warmer weather, porridge feels a bit heavy and I need an equally nutritious, easy to transport alternative.
There are quite a few gluten free energy and breakfast bars available in the shops these days, which is great to see...... Many of them have a base of dates, nuts or seeds. Some of them are delicious (I am particularly impressed by the Nakd Bars which are very natural), but nothing beats home-made slices of goodness, put together with all our favourite ingredients.
They are so easy to make too..... mix all the ingredients together, squish into a tin, bake and cut.
Apart from a handful of dark chocolate chips (I just can't resist I am afraid....... but you can use carob chips instead or leave out altogether), these Oatie Choc-Nut Breakfast Bars are full of great stuff..... oats, nuts, seeds, vanilla bean, cocoa...... all sweetened with natural honey and maple syrup. You can adjust the honey and maple syrup to taste, but the quantities here are not over-sweet and I think, are well balanced alongside the rest of the ingredients, for a fuel-filled grab and go breakfast. The dense texture, creamy with oats and a good crunchy bite feels substantial and satisfying. Stuffed with peanut butter, peanut flour, hazelnuts, almonds and flax, they have a wonderfully nutty taste and aroma......
Mine never make it as far as the office........
I am sharing my breakfast bars with :
We Should Cocoa this month being hosted by Karen at Lavender & Lovage on behalf of Choclette at Tin & Thyme. May's theme is Vanilla & Chocolate, both of which are contained here..... I love using vanilla...... in any form, whether beans, paste, extract or powder......
Bake of the Week with Helen over at Casa Costello.
Free From Fridays with Emma at the Free From Farmhouse.
Tasty Tuesdays with Honest Mum.
Recipe of the Week with Emily at A Mummy Too.
Oatie Choc-Nut Breakfast Bars
90g GF oats (lightly toasted)
30g GF oat flour (make as in this post)
15g peanut flour
35g flax seed
15g cocoa powder
40g coarsely ground hazelnuts
40g flaked almonds
70g dark chocolate or carob chips
60 ml runny honey
40 ml maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
120g crunchy peanut butter
- Base-line an 8 inch/23 cm square baking tin with baking paper.
- Pre-heat the oven to 170 C/325 F/Gas 3.
- In a large bowl, mix together the oats, flours, flax seed, cocoa, nuts and chocolate chips.
- Add the honey, maple syrup, vanilla and peanut butter and thoroughly combine. You may find it easier mixing with your hands.
- Tip the mix into the baking tin and spread evenly.
- Use the base of a glass or a small rolling pin to compress the mixture in the tin and smooth the surface.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the edges are just beginning to darken.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before carefully removing from the tin to a chopping board.
- When completely cool, place in the fridge to chill on the board for about 45 minutes before carefully cutting into slices with a very sharp knife.
- Store in an airtight container.
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